Welcome to the second installment of our African coffee series. We’re roasting and profiling coffees from three often-overlooked origins in Africa that are shattering preconceptions with their exceptional quality.
As I continue to grow from a basic coffee nerd to a full on hopeless mouth-breathing dork, I enjoy how working in coffee directs my attention to less understood parts of the world. Honestly, getting a chance to look beyond my western-centric world view and consider life in under-represented developing nations feels very important to me.
The people of Malawi are cultivators. Over 80% of the population grows food for themselves. It’s a beautiful country that believes strongly in the power of the land to provide. Lake Malawi makes up most of the eastern border, and its shores are met by gentle sloping green mountains that can rise up to 8,000 feet. The heat of its equatorial location is tempered by the country’s high altitude — the perfect habitat for coffee.
Of course, the coffee from Malawi is exceptional. Mzuzu Union displays such clean unspoiled fruit flavors that it rivals the clarity of much more expensive washed coffees from Ethiopia. Coffees from Ethiopia have dominated the conversation about African production for the entire modern history of coffee roasting. This has been for good reason as the diversity and history of coffee cultivation in Ethiopia is unmatched. However, coffees like the Mzuzu Union from Malawi displays quality, consistency, and traceability beyond what’s currently available in Ethiopia.
It’s a great time to be a coffee roaster and coffee drinker, and as the world of coffee becomes more diverse we all benefit. The level of production has risen in less appreciated origins, which challenges entrenched coffee producers to improve their product. Of course, we also get to enjoy the actual taste of this trailblazing Malawian coffee. Shop our African coffee series and check out all our offerings online.
Written by our head Workshop Roaster, Hugh Morretta